New CBA will include HGH testing, eliminate Elias rankings

Cashman: Market moving at "glacial speed"
Open Thread: A Darrell Rasner Follow-Up

Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement has not been officially announced just yet, but details of some rather substantial changes have started to leak out. Here’s the latest….

New CBA will include blood testing for HGH

Via Michael Schmidt, the new CBA will include blood testing for human growth hormone. The testing will begin when players report to Spring Training in February, and a positive test will result in a 50-game suspension. Minor leaguers have been getting tested for HGH for two seasons now.

This is obviously a significant step for baseball and a major concession by the union. None of the other major North American sports leagues allow blood testing, though the International Olympic Committee does. Players that participate in the World Baseball Classic are subject to IOC rules and tests.

Type-A free agent relievers and Elias rankings will be eliminated

Via Ken Rosenthal, all remaining Type-A free agent relievers will not be subject to draft pick compensation this offseason. Teams will not be required to forfeit draft picks to sign them, though their old team will still gain a pick somehow. I’m guessing it’ll be just the supplemental first rounder. Click here to see all the Type-A and B free agents. Other Type-A free agents (Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, etc.) will still require a team to surrender a draft pick to sign them.

The Elias ranking system will be completely eliminated next offseason. In order to receive draft pick compensation for a top free agent, the player’s team will need to tender them a qualifying offer of at least $12M per season. I’m curious to see how they decide who is and who isn’t a top free agent, that should be interesting. Reportedly, the Yankees will still gain a supplemental first rounder if Type-B free agent Freddy Garcia signs elsewhere this offseason.

Cashman: Market moving at "glacial speed"
Open Thread: A Darrell Rasner Follow-Up
  • The Fallen Phoenix

    I’m really, really curious to know exactly what the players have received in this CBA, because almost everything leaked thus far seems to strongly favor the owners.

    • Plank

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. The owners were literally out for blood in these negotiations.

      Capping amateur player spending. Invasive drug testing. Still having draft pick losses tied to free agents. I don’t get it. What’s in it for the players?

      Maybe the sources that are leaking are all on the owners side so they are only telling it from that side. We’ll see when the final CBA comes out Tuesday…If it comes out Tuesday.

      • Ted Nelson

        Capping future amateur signings does nothing to players currently in the union. Testing for drugs that aren’t to be taken isn’t all that invasive. And the draft pick compensation is moving in the players’ favor.

        Look at the economy. Players aren’t really in a position to ask for much… since the only thing to really ask for is more money.

        • Plank

          Revenues in baseball are up. There is no recession in baseball.

          • Ted Nelson


            • Plank

              Why don’t you find it yourself?

              Attendance was up. Average ticket price was up. TV revenue has skyrocketed.

              • Ted Nelson

                Give a source to substantiate your claims… that’s a pretty reasonable request.

        • Plank

          Re: draft pick compensation.

          That comment was written before the article was updated. At first, it was just about the hgh news.

          The new compensation rules are an improvement, but still have the effect of decreasing free agent contracts for high end players. There will always be players on the low end of the compensation measure.

          • Ted Nelson

            They don’t impact the high end guys much. Losing one lousy late first round pick to sign an Albert Pujols… that’s a very marginal concern. Maybe 1 in 20 first rounders will make MLB, and 1 in 1,000,000 or so will be Pujols. How much more money would guys like Jayson Werth, Jason Bay, Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee get in a free market?

            They may impact the borderline guys… and even then, not always. Soriano still got $35 million despite being a reliever. Look at Benoit’s compensation. How much more money would these relievers get in a free market.

      • RetroRob

        I thought I read speculation yesterday that the CBA will include some type of penalty for teams who fall below a certain payroll level. I always wondered why this wasn’t included originally when the Luxury Tax was implemented, because the luxury tax has acted as a soft cap. If there is the equivalent of a soft cap causing a tax, there should at the least be a soft bottom that also generates a tax.

        So perhaps one of the items the players received was some form of tax/penalty on low payroll teams.

        You are right. All we’ve been hearing about are items that seem to favor the owners, so we know there’s more to come.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I would like to know who is still cheating and this ruling will definitely stop the guys who are still using HGH. I don’t see how this favors the owners. I am sure that some performances will drop next year also. I have no proof that anyone is using but I certainly suspect of some.

    • Plank

      Someone taking a needle to your body whenever, wherever they want is a pretty big inconvenience for players.

      • Plank

        Plus the fact that a false positive will permanently ruin a player’s reputation and cost them potentially tens of millions of dollars.

        • radnom

          I think thats a pretty minor inconvenience for someone who gets paid tons of money to play baseball for a living. Seems like a fair trade off, if you want to compete at the highest level like MLB or the Olympics, you get tested.

          Also, do you have any numbers to back up that false positive narrative? How common are they? They haven’t even explained how the system works – for all you know they do a re-test before releasing the players name (in fact, I would be surprised if that wasn’t the policy).

          • Plank

            I don’t have numbers to back up the false positive narrative. What narrative? There are false positives in any test for something.

            From what I understand, the HGH test measures the ratio of two substances naturally found in the human body. Humans have a standard ratio of the two chemicals, and taking synthetic HGH boosts the ratio. I would imagine there is some variation among separate humans as to what that ratio is in their body. If their natural ratio is out of the range, they will falsely test positive. If their ratio is naturally out of range, they may also be more likely to be muscular thus they may be more likely to be a pro athlete.

            Also, I don’t work in a lab, but I studied biology and know that errors can happen in labs quite easily. Human error is a very real thing. Think bored office worker running their last test before going home not Dexter or CSI.

            • Ted Nelson

              The people designing these rules and testing protocols aren’t ignorant buffoons.

              • Plank

                When did I say that? When did anyone?

                • Ted Nelson

                  You took a biology class, so you are an authority on HGH testing… to the point that the actual authorities on the subject know less than you? They haven’t weighed the pros and cons, and the union hasn’t made that argument?

                  You are all-knowing on these negotiations from your comments on this thread. Maybe you should apply to the union.

                  • Plank

                    You are a ridiculous individual.

                    You are trying to make me sound absurd by putting ridiculous stuff in my mouth. All of that ridiculousness came from your head.

                    Thanks for thinking I’m all-knowing, but it’s not true. Where did I claim that I was?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You sound absurd because you are up on your high horse presenting your guesses as fact and acting like you know everything… then turning around and explaining that you know very little.

                    • Plank

                      Ted: You are correct. All of that happened.

                  • Plank

                    I just re-read the thread. This is the post where you transitioned from discourse to personal attacks.


                    • Ted Nelson

                      Not at all. I was replying to your comment.

                      You literally said I was making you spun absurd… I simply said that you are making yourself sound absurd with absurd comments

                    • Plank

                      Ted: Well reasoned.

                      P.S. Who hurt you to make you this way?

              • Plank


                • LazzeriScooter

                  Ted Nelson- Winner, like always.

    • Jamey

      The owners being “in favor” of PED testing is what I would think is widely assumed bullshit. In a perfect world for them they’d love to be hosting 81 homerun derby’s a year again. The only advantage I can really see is some of your lesser stars, role players etc there is less chance you’ll suddenly have to cut them a bigger check because they’re hitting 40 HR’s out of nowhere. I.E, an owner could (in theory, as we all know they like to shock us with stuff like Werth’s Nats deal) save franchise player money for a legit franchise player instead of giving it to a guy like Brady Anderson.

      • Jamey

        just saying, the owners are as for testing as much as Vince McMahon is for steroid testing in professional wrestling.

    • RetroRob

      Some players unquestionably take HGH because they believe it enhances performance and they believe the competition also takes HGH, but unlike steroids, it almost assuredly does nothing to enhance performance.

      I’m happy they’re testing for it because of the health issues around HGH. These professional athletes are taking a substance that really doesn’t help them, but could have long-term consequences on their health.

      • Andrew518

        I by no means am an expert but I’m pretty sure HGH can help with recovery, not just from injury which is in it’s own a big benefit, but in the day to day sense. In a game like baseball a reduction of fatigue from the day to day grind can be a huge advantage.

        In regards to the owners, true, HR’s sell, but a cloud of suspition hanging over the game doesn’t. There will inevitably be players still able to game the system, but for a game with as large a stain from steroids the owners can not truthfuly claim that they have the most advanced testing of any of the major (american) sports.

        Disclaimer: this post is entirely composed of personal opinions and contains no sourced material whatsoever.

      • Ted Nelson

        SO guys hitting more HRs thn anyone else not only at the same time but ever all being confirmed PED users is a huge coincidence?

        • RetroRob

          I have no interest in helping you build your strawman.

  • Jamey

    In related news David Ortiz & Boston Red Sox announce the first ever player & franchise retirement.

  • Thomas Cassidy

    Enjoy your suspension, Pujols.

  • Plank

    That Soriano pick last off season is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Angryankee

    I am happy because it’s the right thing to do… Any word on expanding replay?

  • Gonzo

    So the Phils don’t have to give the Sox a pick for Paps? They used the word “remaining” when describing reliever compensation.

    • steve (different one)

      from mlbtraderumors:

      This means teams can sign Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and other top relievers this offseason without penalty. The measure is not retroactive, however, meaning that the Phillies will still surrender their first-round pick for signing Jonathan Papelbon

      Seriously, the Phillies had no idea this was a week away? This is pretty gross incompetence.

      • Gonzo

        Amaro loves to pay top dollar x2.

      • Rich in NJ

        Either way, not having uniformity makes the Agreement seem arbitrary and capricious.

        • Gonzo

          How is not uniform? A transaction took place before it was in place. How should the transaction not fall under the rules of the environment it took place?

          • Rich in NJ

            Because conceptually, I believe the environment should be viewed as the entire offseason since, by in large, no moves could be made until the WS had ended. As such, it seems logical that one set of rules should apply from beginning to end. New rules should go into effect at the start of the next offseason.

            • Plank

              But the CBA never expired. The Phillies signed a player while under the old (current) CBA. Any team could have. It was foolish in my opinion for them to do so, but they did it.

              Any signings under the new (future) CBA should adhere to the rules of that CBA.

              • Rich in NJ

                Don’t you think that’s just formalism? In practical terms, the CBA has been a work in progress since negotiations on a new deal were likely to reach fruition. That’s why some teams probably have waited to make a move.

                The draft picks that will be impacted by the compensation rules won’t be exercised until June. So there would have been no downside to making the rules uniform throughout the offseason.

                As was stated below, the Phillies may have believed that it was to their advantage to preempt the competition that might have arisen without the necessity of draft pick compensation for relievers.

                A goal of some of the new rules appears be to prevent the gaming of the system (e.g., trying to limit paying overslot). Yet by not having a uniform rules throughout the offseason, they have provided another opportunity for gaming the system.

                • Plank

                  I really think it is a valid way of approaching the situation. Every team knew the rules as they applied at the time of the signing. Every team had a good idea of what the new rules would be and that they were subject to change.

                  I don’t think it would be fair to retroactively change the rules for the ending part of the previous CBA.

                  • Rich in NJ

                    I just think the rules should have been held in abeyance until the new CBA was ratified, but ok.

      • JAG

        Sure favors the Red Sox too (albeit probably coincidentally). Now they can sign Ryan Madson away from the Phillies and not give them a draft pick back. You have to think this would have been far more fair if the changes to compensation would have only applied next season once everyone gets to make fully informed decisions with the new rules in mind.

      • RetroRob

        The Phillies did know this was coming (or at least likely coming) and they might have done it to benefit themselves. Once the Type A free-agent status was removed from Papelbon, more teams will be encouraged to bid on his services, which could cause a bidding war to erupt. As crazy as it sounds, Papelbon might have gone for more than $12.5 per season. With the Type A status removed from the other relievers on the market, let’s see where pricing heads. The Phillies might have saved themselves several million by locking Papelbon up early. And, yes, they did lose a draft pick, but if you follow the Phillies drafting strategy the last few years, it’s very Yankee-like. They seem to be directing a higher percentage of their resources to later rounds, staying away from the high-priced amateurs in the early rounds.

        In other words, there actually might be a strategy here and it might be a sound strategy. I’m ignoring the fact that no reliever should get four-year contracts, but if they were committed to acquiring Papelbon and they didn’t have a problem with four years (and let’s face it, he was going to get four years somewhere), then striking early might have saved them money.

  • Josh

    Does anyone care that HGH has never been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance or have any positive effect on people in their 20’s and 30’s?

    Probably not, since science also suggests that steroids wouldn’t help people hit homeruns very much. But why look to science when we have a narrative everyone is so happy with…

    • Plank

      I never got the whole PED thing. Even if it does make players play better, they should be able to use it.

      If it’s for player safety, why not ban smoking, drinking, and throwing sliders?

      • Jamey

        I would agree with that sentiment, but I think the can of worms there is that players could easily find loopholes to get HGH. Its a shame, because I think as a healing treatment it has so much potential. A lot of careers that end way too soon could be prolonged, sucks guys trying to pad numbers & earn fat contracts had to ruin it.

      • radnom

        Some PEDs definitely improve performance, and many of them also have adverse health affects that are much more serious than blowing your arm out throwing a slider. If you allow them to be used freely by abandoning testing, you create an environment where players are forced to choose between risking their health or loosing a key competitive advantage, which affects their lively hood. Do you not understand that this is a terrible situation for the players to be in? Allowing PED use is bad for the players who take them and the ones who don’t.

        Smoking and drinking are personal choices that are not forced upon you by threat of losing your job, or making less money. Comparing them to PEDs is completely disingenuous, but I see it all the freaking time.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      First of all, it does help players hit home runs. I don’t see where people get this idea from. The steroids won’t help players hit more home runs because of strength, but because it helps the eyes.

      The eyes have muscles, and the steroids cause the muscles to become more active and efficient, so the players see the ball ten times better.

    • CMP

      And how exactly would you design a legitimate study to test this hypothesis one way or another?

      Right, it cant be done and any evidence on either side is strictly anecdotal.

      • radnom

        Right, it cant be done and any evidence on either side is strictly anecdotal.

        Not entirely true. There is plenty of statistic evidence but the only problem is that estimating the percentage of users at any given time is dubious at best. Still, the further we get passed the “Steriod Era” and into the era of increased testing we have now – the more clear it is that it has an effect.

      • Andrew518

        I would imagine that you would test a subjects muscle reactions, (eye reactions, arm strength etc) then you would administer steroid/HGH of choice. Measure results, compare. Use a large enough sample size and you could come up with some decent conclusions.

        The fact that you would have to study non ball players would ultimately be irrelevant if a steroid increases my strength it would certainly do the same for a proffesional athlete.

        I can’t grasp the steroids don’t work argument. It’s true that PED’s can’t make a major leaguer out of the average guy on the street, the skill set still needs to be there. But an increase in strength can most certainly make someone a better player.

        I had great eye hand cordination in HS, problem was I was scrawny and could barely get the ball out of the infield. The hitting skill was there, just not the strength. Taking steroids wouldn’t have made a major leaguer out of me, but I’m confident it would have improved my hitting.

        • Plank

          You couldn’t give potentially harmful stuff to test subjects in America for something so trivial.

          If you base it on people who already do or don’t use those substances, the study wouldn’t be able to conclude that steroids/HGH cause the results.

          • Andrew518

            I’m not sure about that. They do some pretty crazy tests. Sure the narative is that steroids are harmful for you, but this is over a long term of usage. Many steroids are used legally already (w/prescription)in medical capacity.

            Few years ago I broke my shoulder I was given a type of topical steroid for a period of time (don’t recal name)For the record the results were very imediate and noticable. No I didn’t have any bouts of rage, acne (although I did get a rash where they aplied it) My balls didn’t shrink and I didn’t go out and dominate beer league softball but I woke up the next day feeling 100% better. For an injury that just wouldn’t heal it was like magic. I could certainly see the appeal.

    • Ted Nelson

      “since science also suggests that steroids wouldn’t help people hit homeruns very much. But why look to science when we have a narrative everyone is so happy with…”

      Where are your sources? Who is this “science” you refer to?

  • Plank;Itemid=39

    This also says there will be a tax on low payrolls and a reallocation of how revenue sharing money is spent.

  • Gonzo

    So players get less type A compensation, and owners get HGH testing.

    I knew the players union wouldn’t care about amateur spending. The agents made a bigger deal about it than the union would. They may have used that chip to get something in return yet to be reported.

  • Reggie C.

    Elimination of the draft pick compensation for what were Type-A relievers all but ensures the Red Sox will get one of Madson or Bell. SD doesnt have a prayer to out-bid the RS though I doubt SD ever wanted to tie up that much money in a closer.

    We’re all going to go ape-shit mad when Bell runs out and does the slide at Yankee Stadium next season. Doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

    Mets should now be players for a decent closer.

    • Craig Maduro

      If the Mets are smart, they’ll go bargain shopping for their closer. There is no reason for them to tie up payroll in a f*cking relief pitcher. Far more productive uses for their limited spending money.

  • Robert

    The Draft spending cap and getting rid of the draft pick compensation is going to hurt a lot of small market teams.Look at Pitt and TB this year .

  • Brian S.

    Why couldn’t Levine wait until this year to foolishly waste money on a type A relief pitcher?

    • Plank

      I wouldn’t say it’s wasted money, but it was a waste of a draft pick.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I find it hard to believe that the Union caved on HGH testing and hard slotting and caps on IFAs in the same year.

    • Plank

      Maybe revenue sharing and the luxury tax are way overhauled. That’s the only thing I can think of to make it somewhat even.

    • Gonzo

      The union can’t really negotiate hard for amateur players. Over 90% of drafted players do not become union members. I believe according to the NLRA, they cannot negotiate for their benefit especially at the cost of its current members. That’s what I got from a class over 10 years ago so take it with a grain of salt.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        False, the MLBPA is one of the most educated unions there is. The members are educated about hard slotting and spending caps on the draft and the consequences of doing such things. Once you give the owners something, you’re not likely to get it back…and furthermore it’s likely to chip away at something you already have. The PA gave the union drug testing for steroids, now we see blood testing. You give up a hard cap on draft an IFAs next you’ll see rumblings of a salary cap within the next decade. God knows there’s enough idiots (and smart people who have blindspots in this area) to give the owners support on this.

        Just because over 90% of drafted players do not become Union Members doesn’t mean much, hard slotting really only effects players with a higher likelihood of becoming union members. If Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Archie Bradley, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, and Bubba Starling all became big leaguers no one would really be shocked. The Union is also concerned with the on-field product and the quality of athletes that play baseball. They want the best of the best to play the game.

        Players like Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Adrian Gonzalez, and AJ Burnett being as good as they are and hitting free agency help set the market for other players. The AJ Burnett deal is sort of a baseline for deals to give other guys who are valued as “two starter” types. CJ Wilson is considered to be a bit better than AJ was at the time of signing so he’ll probably get paid more. Edwin Jackson is viewed as that next tier below him at the time he signed so he’ll get paid a bit less. Having more elite players in the game hit free agency helps set the market higher for all players. So the Union is definitely concerned with making baseball to be the most lucrative sport a teenage athlete can play. We are watching a wealth of elite talent, even Mark Teixeira (despite having two kinda down-ish years) still has about a twenty to twenty-five percent chance at 500 HRs. Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are both two of the thirty best players to ever play the game. Roy Halladay is making his way into one of the greatest ever pitchers conversation, and we just got done watching four of the fifteen best pitchers ever. All of these players helped set the market (except for Halladay who took less money when he was traded to Philly) and the Players Union benefitted from having them playing baseball. So the Union definitely DOES have a very strong future interest. The fact that the Gatorade athlete of the year chose baseball this year over football is a pretty huge development, the Union should want it so that every top HS athlete wants to play baseball.

        The owners should want this too. However, I believe Selig and some of the crappier owners are being shortsighted here. Sports are star driven entertainment options. During the World Series they marketed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, two pretty big household names. The NFL markets Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Adrian Peterson…and you can see what a hit their Sunday and Monday night games have taken now that two huge guys (Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles) are out for the season. They don’t get the Brees v. Manning match up and every time Indy plays there’s pretty much no reason to tune in. You’ll always have big names in your sport, however, you should want to do everything in your power to make sure that you have as many big name talents in your game as possible. Part of this is marketing, but another part of this is having good players to market. The life of a minor leaguer SUCKS, and there’s plenty of reasons why a kid would chose to take a football, basketball, or baseball scholarship over that. However, you give a kid a big bonus (say two or three million) and then life in the minors isn’t so bad. You’re not sharing a bathroom with six different roommates and you’re not eating ramen every night.

        Spending big on the draft is a pretty well known strategy. The Orioles do it, the Nationals do it, the D-Backs do it, the Mariners do it, the Nationals do it, the Pirates do it, the Royals do it, the Brewers aren’t afraid to do it and neither are the Blue Jays. We all know the Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Yankees, Rangers, Rockies, Angels, and Dodgers have no qualms with spending big to get their guy either. The Mets and the As are pretty much the only teams I can think of that don’t do it. Why Selig is protecting them is beyond me.

        As to why I think the Union doesn’t see this as “were negotiating for our future members at the expense of our current members” type of deal. So you could say “well we’ll spend less money on draft picks, but more money on vets,” that’s a line that doesn’t really work for owners or players. 10M is a pretty robust draft. If you’re spending that kind of cash on a draft you’ll likely get two or three big leaguers out of it, pretty good investment for an owner. Likewise lets say they cut it in half, so what would teams like the Nationals, Diamondbacks, or Pirates do with an extra five million? Probably pocket it. It’s not like they’re the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Rays, or any other perennial contender where the extra five million would go to an overpriced reliever or something…for most teams it’d probably just sit there. Besides, for most perennial contenders, an extra five million for a player they think they need to sign isn’t that big of a deal anyways. Maybe a team like the Cardinals would use it to raise their offer to Pujols, or something like that…but I honestly see most teams just pocketing it. This isn’t the NFL where teams draft seven players and hope that five make the team in some capacity, it’s a very different draft.

        I’m probably just ranting like a mad man, but just my two cents.

        • Gonzo

          I don’t mean the MLBPA does not want to negotiate for amateur players. I mean the MLBPA is legally excluded from having that stance.

          That is, a union cannot legally negotiate for future or past members only current members. It has nothing to do with reasoning. It has to do with the legalities of it all.

          I have no doubt that the MLBPA is smart.

          • Plank

            Does the MLBPA fit the legal definition of a union?

            (serious question)

            • Gonzo

              You know, it’s something that I always just took as fact, but I am not 100% positive.

              I am pretty sure it is. I know the NFLPA and NBPA are in fact unions.

        • Dave203

          two cents??? — you wrote 6 paragraphs…

          • Jesse

            1,070 words to be exact.

  • Platano Man

    They should start testing for high cholesterol lol

    • Gonzo

      Bartolo just broke a sweat!

  • MattNC

    Steroids increase muscle mass dramatically. Players blow through their natural muscle ceiling and can keep that extra muscle on all season. More muscle (sometimes 20-40 lbs) means more bat speed. The formula for kinetic energy is 1/2 mv^2. The velocity is squared, not the mass of the bat. For every 1 MPH in bat speed, a 94 MPH fastball will fly 8 feet farther (the result is not linear due to the exponent in the equation). Guys were increasing bat speed 5-8 MPH, and suddenly hitting maximum drives of 40-60 feet greater length. That DOES result in more HRs. Do the steroid apologists really think Sammy Sosa was a 60+ HR player, or that Bonds could improve his already HOF-level offensive performance by 40% when he should have been in decline (age 36-40)? Wake up!

  • well you know

    Until just recently, the best HGH test available had a detection window of only 72 hours. Which would mean a player could use HGH all winter, stop a few days before reporting to spring training, and still pass the test.

    Last month, it was announced that a new test is becoming available that will have a detection window of 10 to 21 days. That is a significant advance but the underlying principle remains the same. The entire practical effectiveness of the testing system depends on its being implemented not just once in spring training but on a random basis throughout the regular season with no advance notice.

    It is not yet clear from reports whether that will in fact be the case.

    • Gonzo

      Short deer antler velvet companies pronto!

  • RetroRob

    BTW There is an argument to be made that capping spending on the amateur draft is actually beneficial to MLB players. For example, let’s take our favorite team here, the Yankees. If they suddenly find it more difficult to supplement their MLB roster with an even smaller percentage of home-grown amateur talent, then they will almost assuredly fill those gaps by spending even more for free-agents, thus driving up the prices and salaries of MLB players, and that’s what the MLB players’ union cares about. So a couple years back, without a Brett Gardner sitting in the wings, the Yankees might have been forced to go out and sign Matt Holliday, and in the meantime driving up his salary to maybe $20 million a season, as opposed to the $17 million a season he got from the Cardinals.

    The MLB player’s union certainly took this under consideration. They don’t care about the amateur talent they are not yet representing so I never expected them to fight a spending cap all that much, especially since a spending cap might benefit their union members.

  • Need Pitching

    “I’m curious to see how they decide who is and who isn’t a top free agent, that should be interesting.”

    My guess is that any free agent offered the $12M minimum contract would be eligible for draft pick compensation, rather than using arbitrary performance guidelines. Just a guess though, I may be completely wrong.

    • Mickey Mantle’s Outstanding Experience

      This was my thought too, that the willingness of the team to pay a player an 8 figure salary will decide it. Without looking too hard, I can’t think of a single player who a team would pay $10+ million who wouldn’t be at least a type B under Elias’ rankings.